A New Year, A Better Body: Muscle Building Basics and a Total Body Resistance Workout

As you may know, I made a commitment to add regular resistance training to my workout routine

but I needed expert guidance to make sure I was doing it right.

The Basics Behind Building Muscle

A New Year, A Better Body: Muscle Building Basics and a Total Body Resistance Workout

I’ve learned a lot about building muscle over the last few months of working with a trainer.

If you’ve done any research at all on building muscle, you’ll have found many different theories on

what you should do and what you should eat to build muscle mass.

Unfortunately many of those “theories” look great on paper, but fail to work when applied.

If you want to truly build muscle, then you need these four things:

1) Progressive Overload

Progressive overload is when you place a demand on a muscle or muscle group that is greater than

what it is used to.

If you keep lifting the same amount of weight for the same number of repetitions, your muscles will

develop to the point of where they can handle that load, but no bigger.

To build them bigger, you either have to lift heavier weight or do more repetitions with the same

amount of weight.

2) Calorie Surplus

This happens when your body is taking in more calories than it needs, but it is an absolute requirement

if you want to build muscle. The key is to eat more calories than your body needs to maintain its current

weight, but no more than the amount needed to support muscle growth through progressive overloading.

Once you know your maintenance caloric requirement, add 250 to 500 additional calories per day and

monitor your weight and body fat percentage.

The goal is to gain ½ to 1-pound per week with no noticeable increase in body fat.

Based on your results, add or subtract calories to find your number needed to stay on track.

3) Diet and Workout Requirements

A New Year, A Better Body: Muscle Building Basics and a Total Body Resistance Workout

Not all calories or workouts are created the same. As far as your diet, the bulk of your calories

should come from protein, unsaturated fats and complex carbohydrates.

Workouts should focus on the larger muscle groups, including arms, shoulders, chest, upper legs

and glutes.

Diet

Of all the macronutrients, protein is probably the most important when trying to build muscle.

Start with 1 gram per pound of body weight by eating plant-based protein and protein shakes.

Or if you are not vegan like me–chicken, turkey, fish, lean meat, eggs and protein shakes.

As far as fat, start out with 0.4 to 0.5 grams per pound of body weight or about 25% of your total

daily caloric intake.

The rest of your daily calories can come from complex carbohydrates in the form of fruits, vegetables,

oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potatoes, bean and most whole grains.

A New Year, A Better Body: Muscle Building Basics and a Total Body Resistance Workout

Workout

Generally speaking you’ll get the best bang for your buck by doing these exercises:

• Bench Press
• Rows
• Overhead Press
• Pull Ups/Chin Ups
• Squats
• Deadlifts

Of course for some variety there are several variations of the above exercises that you can do.

Each variation will work a particular muscle or group just a little differently so you are always challenging

your body – a requirement for muscle growth.

4) Consistency

If you are just starting out, strive to train each muscle group 3 times per week.

As you progress, you can drop that number down to twice a week.

Ensure you have at least one day of rest between workouts of the same muscle group.

If you set-up separate upper body/lower body routines, you could strength train up to 6 days per week

by alternating between workouts each day.

Take at least one day per week off to allow your muscles to fully recover and repair.

By doing these four things right, you’ll start to see some muscle definition in as little as two weeks.

One you get the right look, then tailor your caloric intake and workouts to a maintenance mode.

A Sample Resistance Training Routine

I’ve been working out with TreFitNYC for a few months now and I love it!

He mixes exercises up a lot to work various body parts and to keep things interesting.

Here’s a sample of a recent resistance training routine:

A New Year, A Better Body: TreFitNYC Total Body Resistance Workout

Legs

 

1) Kettle bell squats – 24 kg 15 reps
2) Kettle bell stiff leg dead lifts – 24 kg 15 reps
3) Reverse lunges – 7.5 lbs 5 reps each leg
4) 2 rounds of stairs

 3 sets of each exercise

A New Year, A Better Body: TreFitNYC Total Body Resistance Workout

Chest and Back

5) Assisted pull ups – 12 reps
6) Assisted dips – 12 reps
7) Cable chest press – 65 lbs 12 reps
8) Mountain climbers – 30 sec.

3 sets of each exercise

A New Year, A Better Body: TreFitNYC Total Body Resistance Workout

Shoulders and Arms

9) Step up balance curl press – 7.5 lbs 10 reps
10) Overhead extensions – 15 lbs 12 reps
11) TRX jump squats – 30 sec.

 3 sets of each exercise

A New Year, A Better Body: TreFitNYC Total Body Resistance Workout

Abs

12) Ball crunches – 20 reps
13) Legs raises – 20 reps
14) Side bends – 12 reps each side

 3 sets of each exercise

 

After each one hour session, I drink a plant-based, high protein smoothie such as a Cashew Butter Baby or

Almond Butter Blast, Peanut Butter Power Punch or similar vegan protein smoothie.

I usually follow up my resistance session with 30 minutes of cardio on the treadmill or elliptical machine.

Of course, if the weather is nice outside, I like to take a long walk in the sun.

It makes me feel invigorated and alive!

 

Photos courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

 

Have you been working out regularly?

What is your fitness routine like?

Share your experiences, thoughts and comments with us.